July 20, 2010

Israeli PM Netanyahu: I "stopped" Oslo peace process

Here is the transcript of the translated portion of the video posted earlier (click here):

Netanyahu: Turn off the camera so that we can elaborate on this.

Narrator: A few minutes later... the camera is turned on again and Netanyahu begins to speak without quotation marks and without masks

Netanyahu: Now we're beginning to understand the meaning of the slogan 'Yesha Zeikan Judea, Samaria, and Azza are here'

Netanyahu: Yesha is everywhere, what is the difference.

Netanyahu: What does Arafat want? He wants one big settlement [implies Palestinians see all of Israel as a settlement].

Woman: Yes that's what my daughter in law who came from England says [i.e. they, Palestinians, see Tel Aviv as a settlement also].

Netanyahu: Tel Aviv is also a settlement. From their point of view [Palestinians], our territorial waters are also theirs.

Netanyahu: The fact is that they want us in the sea. Over there... [gestures] in the distant water.

Netanyahu: The Arabs now are preparing for a campaign [or war] of terror, and they think that this will break us.

Netanyahu: The main thing is, first and foremost, to hit them hard.

Netanyahu: Not just one hit... but many painful, so that the price will be unbearable.

Netanyahu: The price is not unbearable, now.

Netanyahu: A total assault on the Palestinian Authority.

Netanyahu: To bring them to a state of panic that everything is collapsing.

Netanyahu: ...fear that everything will collapse... this is what we'll bring them to...

Woman interrupts: But wait a minute, at that point the whole world will say 'What are you occupiers?' Netanyahu: The world will say nothing. The world will say that we are defending ourselves.

Woman: Aren't you afraid of the world Bibi? Netanyahu: No

Netanyahu: Especially now, with America, I know what America is.

Netanyahu: America is a thing that can be easily moved. ...moved in the right direction.

Netanyahu: They [Americans] will not bother us.

Netanyahu: Let's suppose that they [Americans] will say something [to us - Israelis]... so they say it... [so what?]

Netanyahu: 80% of the Americans support us. It's absurd! We have such [great] support there! And we say... what shall we do with this [support]? Look, the other administration (that of Clinton) was pro-Palestinian in an extreme way. I was not afraid to maneuver there. I did not fear confrontation with Clinton. I was not afraid to clash with the U.N.

Netanyahu: As it is, I am paying the price in the international arena... So I might as well receive something of equal value in exchange.

Child: But never mind that. We gave them things, and we can’t take them back. Because they won’t give them back to us.

Netanyahu: [Gestures for child to let him speak] First of all, Oslo is a system [or package of things]. You're right, a) I do not know what can and cannot be taken back [from Palestinians]

Woman: He has political opinions, believe me.

Netanyahu: He's right.

Woman: He said such things to Arik Sharon that I told him: that’s not – that’ not a child’s opinion. The Oslo Accords are a disaster.

Netanyahu: Yes, I know that and you know that... but the people need to know

Woman: Right. But I thought that the prime minister did know, and that he’d do everything so that, somehow, not to do critical things, like handing over Hebron, that...

Netanyahu: What were the Oslo Accords? The Oslo Accords, which the Knesset signed, I was asked, before the elections: “Will you act according to them?” and I answered: “Yes, subject to reciprocity and limiting the withdrawals.

Netanyahu: But how do you limit the withdrawals? I interpret the accords in such a way that will enable me to stop this rush toward '67 borders [returning to armistice line]. [So...] how do we do it?

Narrator: The Oslo Accords stated at the time that Israel would gradually hand over territories to the Palestinians in three different stages, unless the territories in question had settlements or military sites. This is where Netanyahu found a loophole.

Netanyahu: No one said what defined military sites. Defined military sites, I said, were security zones. As far as I’m concerned, the Jordan Valley is a defined military site.

Woman: Right [laughs]. The Beit She’an settlements. The Beit She’an Valley.

Netanyahu: How can you tell. How can you tell? But then the question came up of just who would define what Defined Military Sites were. I received a letter – to me and to Arafat, at the same time... which said that Israel, and only Israel, would be the one to define what those are, the location of those military sites and their size. Now, they did not want to give me that letter, so I did not give the Hebron Agreement. I stopped the government meeting, I said: “I’m not signing.” Only when the letter came, in the course of the meeting, to me and to Arafat, only then did I sign the Hebron Agreement. Or rather, ratify it, it had already been signed. Why does this matter? Because at that moment I actually stopped the Oslo Accord.

Woman interrupts: And despite that, one of our own people, excuse me, who knew it was a swindle, and that we were going to commit suicide with the Oslo Accord, gives them – for example – Hebron. I never understood that.

Netanyahu: Indeed, Hebron hurts. It hurts. It’s the thing that hurts. One of the famous rabbis, whom I very much respect, a rabbi of Eretz Yisrael, he said to me: “What would your father say?” I went to my father. Do you know a little about my father’s position?

Woman: Yes

Child: No [laughs]

Woman: He'll read in a little while.

Netanyahu: He’s not exactly a lily-white dove, as they say. So my father heard the question and said: 'Tell the rabbi that your grandfather, Rabbi Natan Milikowski, was a smart Jew. Tell him it would be better to give two percent than to give a hundred percent. And that’s the choice here. You gave two percent and in that way you stopped the withdrawal. Instead of a hundred percent.'

Netanyahu: The trick is not to be there and break down. The trick is to be there and pay a minimal price.

Woman: May you say that as prime minister.

Netanyahu: In my estimation that will happen.